Local and slow

Is ‘local’ the same as ‘slow’?

Read the other way round, this is the case: ‘slow’ as in ‘slow food’, or ‘slow fashion’ is always local. The slow movement which emphasises community, quality, ethics, regional distinctiveness and the craft/artisanal way of producing things is hip and happening in South Africa. But for purposes of this guide ‘local’ is not always ‘slow’. There is no question that handcrafting a skirt, a soap or a cask of brandy and growing broccoli organically involves an entirely different level of skill and passion than manufacturing, say, a conventional shampoo in a factory. The reason that I have decided to include some mass-produced items made in RSA is that for me ‘buying local’ is about starting a habit, about rethinking our shopping lists. Handcrafted products, even taken into account the superior quality, are currently not available or affordable for everyone all the time. But buying anything local is a start and before you know it you are a ‘slow’ partisan. If that starting point is a conventional local product which you buy every week – that makes me happy.